ALL POSTS IN [Romance and Honeymoons]

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To the shock and dismay of women around the world, the world’s most eligible bachelor is officially off the market. George Clooney tied the knot with Amal Alamuddin on Sept. 27 in Venice, Italy, at Hotel Aman, a historic hotel on Venice’s iconic Canal Grande.

This 16th-century palazzo, which was built on water, housed Venice’s elite for centuries, so it was a fitting spot for the Oscar-winning actor and the internationally acclaimed barrister to wed. Renovated into a luxury resort in 2013, Hotel Aman blends the old world with the new — frescoes hang in some of the 24 guest rooms, but there’s also a spa and fitness area. Don’t get too excited about following in Clooney’s footsteps: A night here will cost you — prices start at about $1,000 a night for a standard room. Most star-worthy wedding moment? The glamorous couple and their A-list guests arrived via boat or gondola.

After a dream wedding in Venice, where does a Hollywood power couple such as Clooney and Alamuddin honeymoon? Far-flung exotic locales like the beaches in Mauritius or the Maldives? Or perhaps, as was speculated, at royal honeymoon hot spot Seychelles?

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Hollywood’s hottest power couple, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, finally made their almost-decade union official, as they exchanged vows in a small chapel at the Chateau Miraval. But this isn’t just any 17th-century estate in Provence, France — Hollywood’s’ royal couple owns the enchanting domain. Perhaps Jolie and Pitt knew when they bought the French estate 2 years ago that it would be the perfect location for their wedding — it sits on 1,000 sprawling acres in the ancient village of Correns and is reported to have 35 rooms, a vineyard and a moat (perfect for keeping the paparazzi out).

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are going to have a better long weekend than you. After much anticipation, the extravagant couple will tie the knot on Saturday, May 25 in Florence, Italy, in front of more than 100 guests, including their 11-month-old daughter, North.

But this won’t be your average celebrity destination wedding in a stunning Italian villa. After all, West — who proposed on the jumbotron at the San Francisco Giants’  At&T Stadium … with a 50-piece orchestra, their friends and family watching from the dugout and Keeping Up With the Kardashians cameras rolling — wouldn’t say “I do” any other way.

In true Kimye fashion, it seems no expense was spared on the lavish affair spanning across 2 romantic, European cities. Below you’ll find their rumored 3-day itinerary:

Friday, May 23:

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

Photo by Four Seasons Hotel George V

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In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up some romance-inspiring travel ideas. Get your heart pumping on an adrenaline-filled adventure or gaze into your valentine’s eyes at a fireside table for 2 this weekend.

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Where is everyone dreaming of getting hitched and starting their happily-ever-after? Today Google released their year-in-review Zeitgeist list for 2013, which included the top searched destination wedding locations and honeymoon destinations for 2013.

It’s clear from Google’s data that couples are definitely dreaming of beach “I do’s,” in places such as Jamaica, Bahamas and Bermuda. While Hawaii has always been a desired destination wedding, we like seeing that the less-developed Kauai island is getting more love in 2013. We do wonder though, how many brides and grooms book these destination weddings or are they just dreaming of them?

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Photo Courtesy of Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Hawaii became the 15th state to legalize gay marriage on Monday, which should draw even more happy couples to the Aloha State. The law also allows couples to register for a license and be married the same day, a move that is sure to appeal to plenty of tourists.

How much of an appeal? Sumner La Croix, an economist at the University of Hawaii -Manoa, tells NPR that the legalization of gay marriage in Hawaii could boost tourism in the state by as much $217 million over the next 3 years.

“Same-sex couples will be attracted to Hawaii for the same reasons that opposite-sex couples are attracted to Hawaii,” said La Croix. “It’s the great weather, it’s the warm water, it’s the beautiful scenery. And it’s also the aloha spirit.”

We couldn’t agree more at Travel Channel. We’ve lauded combining your wedding with your honeymoon on the Hawaiian Islands thanks to the year-round warm weather, beautiful beaches and stunning sunsets.

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It’s that time of year when weddings start to fill our calendars — everyone wants to be a June bride. And why not? It’s the perfect time of year! Which is why we have weddings and — even better — honeymoons on the brain.

1. If you’re dreaming of staying in a private, thatched cottage, relaxing by the Caribbean Sea and being pampered at a romantic spa, then Belize should be your honeymoon destination of choice.

2. Every bride dreams of a fairytale wedding, and the best way to fulfill this fantasy is by holding your wedding in a real castle. These romantic castles are waiting to make your dreams come true — just set the date!

3. Having trouble deciding where to go on your honeymoon? From the Maldives to Virgin Gorda, find out what honeymoon destinations are hot this year.

4. Speaking of the Maldives, its reputation as a top honeymoon hot spot isn’t changing anytime soon — especially when you consider the pristine white-sand beaches and adults-only overwater bungalows.

5.  You’ve planned your June wedding, but the question remains: will it rain? Thanks to weathertrends360, find out which wedding spots will see sunny skies and which will be a little grey. Rain on your wedding day is supposed to be good luck, right?

6. Princess Madeleine of Sweden married American financier Christopher O’Neill this month. Learn more about this royal wedding … and try not to be too jealous.

REUTERS/Adam Ihse/Scanpix

This past weekend marked another royal wedding: the nuptials of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and American financier Christopher O’Neill. The much-buzzed-about royal wedding took place at the Royal Chapel at the Palace of Stockholm, followed by a reception at Drottingholm Palace, where the Princess was born.

Princess Madeline met her husband-to-be while living in New York, and Mr. O’Neill has declined a royal title so he can keep his US citizenship and continue his banking career.

Well-wishers lined the cobblestoned streets in Stockholm on Saturday as the royal couple traveled in a horse-drawn carriage through Gamia Stan, the medieval old town. The newly wed couple then set sail from Stockholm Harbor on a royal barge to Drottingham Palace for a lavish reception, with royals and celebrities from all over the world in attendance.

A royal wedding isn’t the only reason Stockholm is on our radar this month. Weather-wise this Scandinavian gem shines in June … quite literally. On June 21, thousands of tourists will flock to Sweden to see the midnight sun, a natural phenomenon when the sun shines for a full 24 hours around the summer solstice.

If you’re more of royal watcher than a sun gazer, there’s another big event to look forward to this summer: the much-anticipated arrival of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge’s baby. Kate’s 8-month baby bump is getting bigger and bigger every day, as seen at the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation last week. The royal baby is due mid-July and the world is abuzz with speculation, rumors and bets: Will the royal heir be a boy or a girl? And what will be the baby’s name and title?

Our bets are on Alexandra, Queen Elizabeth’s middle name. What do you think?

 

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Rain on your wedding day isn’t ironic, despite what Alanis Morrisette says. It’s just plain gloomy.

You can plan everything for your Big Day — the location, the food, the guests, the music — but you can’t plan the weather. June is the biggest month for weddings, and with that in mind, the meteorologists at weathertrends360 have gathered the best — and worst — places around the country to exchange vows this month.

And if the skies aren’t sunny on the Big Day, don’t worry — we hear rain on your wedding day is good luck.

Top 5 June 2013 Wedding Spots:

Bar Harbor, ME:  Scenic Bar Harbor will be an excellent location for a wedding this June, with the warmest temperatures in 5 years. Last year, June was on the wet side, but this year the rainfall should be much lower.
Best Time: June 21-30

Orlando, FL (Disneyworld):  Sunnier and warmer weather this June will grace the grounds that Mickey and Minnie call home. Last year, 2 tropical systems brought flooding to Florida, but luckily, this year will see less tropical activity — making it a great time to get hitched in the Magic Kingdom.
Best Time: June 1-8

New York City, NY:  For city-dwellers looking to the tie the knot or for those who want to add a little chic to their ceremony, what better place to get married than the Big Apple? The weather is an added bonus this year, it’s predicted to be the warmest June in 3 years.
Best Time: June 21-30

Napa Valley, CA:  If vino is your passion, Napa Valley is the perfect setting for a wedding ceremony. The picturesque rolling hills of the valley add a romantic touch to any ceremony, and this year, the weather forecast is also something to love! Temperatures are expected to be warmer than last year with very little rain predicted.
Best Time: June 9-16

San Francisco, CA:  The City By the Bay offers brides and grooms-to-be endless options for romantic venues. June 2013 will be the warmest and driest in 3 years offering couples a better chance for the perfect outdoor wedding.
Best Time: June 10-17

Worst 5 June 2013 Wedding Spots:

Smoky Mountains, TN: You’ll run the risk of a rained-out wedding ceremony or reception if you book an outdoor wedding in the Great Smoky Mountains this June. Rainfall is expected to be the highest in at least 4 years.

Ozarks, AR: Wetter and colder weather than previous years will make this a dreary place for a wedding in June 2013. But if your heart is set on an outdoor Ozarks wedding, plan on ponying up the dough for a tent to keep you and your guests dry and comfortable.

Yellowstone National Park, WY: Last year’s dry weather made it a great time to get hitched among some of the most amazing scenery the United States has to offer. Unfortunately, this year there’s a greater chance of a gloomy-day wedding with much wetter weather.

Santa Fe, NM: A much cooler June this year means there’s an increased risk of a less-than-fairytale Santa Fe wedding day. Although it doesn’t rain all that much in Santa Fe in June, don’t be surprised if you run across a stray shower, especially if you plan a wedding during the second half of the month.

New Orleans, LA: This June is expected to be the coolest in 5 years, and rainfall will be the highest in 3 years. So what does that mean? Renting a tent for an outdoor wedding is definitely a wise investment. Although there isn’t expected to be any tropical activity this month, if a system does develop, the Gulf Coast is the likely target … just another reason to avoid getting married in the Big Easy.

For more short and long-term weather forecasts, use weathertrends360′s forecast tool.

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World’s Sunniest Spots

Ok, so you’ve finally been inspired to book a Spring Fling. Now, you just need to answer the age-old question: “What do I pack?!” We’re here to help.

Spring Fling Packing List

1. Snap a few pics of your Spring Fling with this super-hip (and super tiny) vintage-looking Pentax digital camera. Be sure to invest in the old-school leather strap for it!

2. This vegan-approved “Ultrabalm” from Lush is perfect for those who prefer to travel light — use this multi-purpose moisturizing wonder anywhere — chapped lips, fly-away hair and dry skin.

3. Throw your sunglasses, sunblock and a beach read into your SeaBag, made from reclaimed sails.

4. Keep the sun off your face with a peachy-hued fedora.

5. Ensure no one tells you “you smell!” while on the road with this aptly-named paper soap.

6. Don’t worry boys, we didn’t forget about you. Pack up your made-in-America Filson Travel Bag — the perfect size for an overnight rendezvous — and take that special someone away for a quick spring getaway.

7. Pack a picnic and fire up this (teenie-tiny) City Boy Grill.

8. Will your spring fling be hot enough for a bikini? Take a dip in one of these super-cute (and reasonably priced) suits designed by Diane von Furstenberg for Roxy.

9. The perfect complement to spring’s bright-colored crops is a black-and-white printed blouse.

10. Take the show on the road with this handy, portable pocket projector for iPhone 4 and 4S that can project up to a 50” image.

11. The sun’s out and it’s time for some new shades. Visit Warby Parker’s website, and get 5 pairs to try on at home for free before picking the perfect set of sunnies.

12. Get that springy look, even when it’s a little chilly, with bright-colored cropped pants.

13. Keep that beloved iPad protected while on the road with a new minty-green, multicolored case.

14. See a new side of an old city with a pocket-sized Herb Lester travel guide.

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